The A.V. Club's Scores

For 7,671 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 50% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 47% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 2.8 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 61
Highest review score: 100 Thief
Lowest review score: 0 Best Night Ever
Score distribution:
7671 movie reviews
  1. Unfortunately, Shannon isn’t the film’s star, and What They Had loses momentum whenever he’s not on screen.
  2. Maintaining an audience’s sympathy for a character through their most fumbling, frustrating lows requires compassion and clarity of purpose, both of which McCarthy amply demonstrates here. It’s a career-best performance, the kind of nuanced turn we all suspected she could deliver, if only someone would give her a chance to do it.
  3. The master stroke of The Price Of Everything is that it asks the viewer, in Cappellazzo’s words, to see the intricacies of the art world and the way those two seemingly oppositional forces — the financial side and the creative side — are inextricably intertwined.
  4. The cast is mostly made up of film and TV comedy pros, all of whom seem to be having a good time overacting Hosking’s Bizarro World dialogue.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 58 Critic Score
    From moment to moment, the direction is unimpeachably competent, but its surface elegance masks a core hollowness.
  5. This latest film isn’t entirely successful — Pizzolatto’s book stubbornly resists first-time screenwriter Jim Hammett’s efforts to reshape its narrative for the screen — but it confirms Laurent as a significant talent behind the lens, particularly adept at building queasy tension.
  6. It might not be the kind of movie that anyone needs to see twice, but its variations on the classic building blocks of suspense implicate our own guesswork in interesting ways.
  7. What Hill hasn’t yet mastered, despite considerable skill as a first-time filmmaker, is how to impose a narrative more quietly, especially in finding the right ending. He also doesn’t seem to fully trust his sense of humor.
  8. For as much as Van Groeningen may have pulled from both of his mirrored source materials, for as deep as Chalamet digs into his character’s skirmish with own urges, Beautiful Boy holds us outside of his struggle.
  9. One could argue that Thunder Road is more sympathetic than critical—which is to say, that it’s a movie that asks you to feel sorry for a white cop with serious women issues. If that’s an oversimplification, it’s because Cummings, who also wrote and directed the film, has delivered a remarkable tragicomic performance in the lead.
  10. It’s just a shame that the edge-of-your-seat suspense negates The Kindergarten Teacher’s preceding psychological power.
  11. With 22 July, Greengrass pushes up against the boundaries of respectful representation, traipsing queasily close to outright exploitation with his reenactment of the 2011 Norway terrorist attacks, which claimed the lives of 77 people, many of them children.
  12. Though Sandel relies less on exasperating, rubbery digital effects than Rob Letterman, the DreamWorks Animation vet who helmed the original, his direction of the monsters and mayhem is never more than workmanlike, racing joylessly through a shaky plot that barely holds attention.
  13. Despite its undercurrent of anger at Wilde’s mistreatment by fashionable English society, the film feels like a vanity production—and Everett clearly fears that it may be perceived that way, as he opts to bill himself fifth (non-alphabetically) in the cast, despite appearing in almost every shot. Such false modesty ill suits a flamboyant legend like Oscar Wilde, even in a perverse account of his slow fade to black.
  14. Revelations completes Hellraiser’s transformation from an original and refreshingly adult concept into teens indiscriminately screwing and dying, hollowing out the soul of the franchise while functioning as a loose remake of the original.
  15. In The Oath, his first feature as a writer-director, comic actor Ike Barinholtz zeroes in on an approach somewhere between caustic stage comedy and "The Purge." The movie isn’t always up to the delicacy of that ambitious balancing act, but even the attempt is engaging.
  16. Not every segment comes together in a satisfying way. In fact, many of them seem all but designed not to. Like No Country For Old Men, which is essentially a Western itself, The Ballad Of Buster Scruggs presents anticlimax as a philosophical position.
  17. Strickland’s ability to convey tactile sensations in the visual medium of cinema remains unmatched. Submit to the exquisite mystery of retail, and enjoy.
  18. Burning comes together harshly, beautifully, unforgettably. It’s the kind of movie whose trajectory is largely unpredictable, even as it moves towards an outcome that feels, if only in retrospect, truly inevitable.
  19. Knife + Heart sometimes feels as rough around the edges and inelegantly plotted as its pornos-within-the-movie, but maybe that’s just conceptual consistency.
  20. It uses a thin plot touching on the classic Hong Kong action themes of brotherhood and loyalty as an excuse to string together a series of gonzo action set-pieces so ingeniously bloody that one could conceivably classify the film as horror.
  21. The film introduces interesting themes as though they’ll build to something, only to let them spill out like so much viscera from an especially nasty wound.
  22. Åkerlund’s understanding is more like contempt, in a film that downplays the bigotry of the Norwegian black metal scene and shrugs off the severity of its actions with a “boys will be boys” approach that has no reverence for the scene, but doesn’t provide any insight into it, either.
  23. While an extended sequence set in a Holy Week festival at a baroque Spanish castle does provide some flashes of that old Gilliam magic, mostly this is just a warmed-over Fellini rehash.
  24. While the film’s attempts at slapstick can be painful — in a cringing way, not in a brutal way — Heavy Trip does succeed in creating perhaps the most charming ensemble of morbid dorks since "What We Do In The Shadows."
  25. The result feels like a DVD or Blu-ray special feature with a celebrity pedigree, rather than a movie that can stand on its own two feet.
  26. The best moments toy with a kind of superhero body horror, but the movie never fully commits to that angle, maybe to appease a ratings board and perceived audience of 13-year-olds (isn’t that who Venom was designed to please?), or maybe because director Ruben Fleischer (Zombieland) is more interested in the comic possibilities than the horrific ones.
  27. Cruz gets little to do in general apart from wear a succession of gaudy ’80s outfits, while Bardem, who gained weight for the role (reportedly aided by prostheses), acts primarily with his massive, frequently exposed gut. Both actors speak throughout in heavily accented English rather than Spanish, a choice that exemplifies Loving Pablo’s indifference to authenticity.
  28. Unlike the director’s debut feature The Cabin In The Woods, Bad Times At The El Royale isn’t a deconstruction of the neo-noir genre so much as a structurally ambitious example of same.
  29. It delivers the tedious, heavy-breathing buildup associated with the genre, but skimps on the scares and the gory, gooey good stuff.

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